Join Friends and Donate to help the Chicago River system Today

Improve and Protect the River with a Monthly or One-Time Gift Today

The Chicago River system faces growing challenges from pollution, habitat loss, development, and climate change. With the support of more than 6,000 activists like you, Friends is working everyday to improve the water quality of the Chicago River and protect innumerable fish, turtles, and other wildlife habitatsbut there is still more to be done.

Support our work by making an online donation. With your gift, you automatically become a member and receive discounts on our events, The River Reporter, and much more. Gift memberships are available plus you can adopt-a-catfish.

By making a donation and becoming a member, you will help ensure the support we need to rally and win victories for lasting protection of our amazing river—all 156 miles of it.

Interested in joining The Otter Society, Friends' premier giving society that makes a deeper connection with—and contribution to—our mission? Join here or contact Kim Olsen-Clark, director of development, at or (312) 939-0490, ext.19.


Bequests/Planned Gift

Through a bequest or planned gift to Friends, you have the opportunity to continue our mission for future generations. Planned gifts include bequests, gifts of retirement plan assets, and other assets. Bequests of all sizes have helped to build the Friends' future. All donors who include Friends in their estate plans or make a planned gift are eligible to become members of the Chicago River Legacy Society. Members receive an invitation to an annual event, recognition in the Annual Report, and a special gift. The Society is the Friends' way of saying "thank you" for including us in your plans. To enroll, contact Kim Olsen-Clark at or call (312) 939-0490, ext. 19.

Donating Stocks

Maximize your contribution and minimize the cost to you with a gift of stock. You can take an income tax deduction for the full market value and avoid capital gains taxes. Contact Kim Olsen-Clark at or (312) 939-0490, ext.19 for more information

Donor Advised Funds

A donor advised fund is a fund commonly at a community foundation that distributes funds to other charities such as Friends.  You can open one with a written agreement between you and the organization that gives you (or other family members) the right to recommend that distributions (i.e. grants) be made from your fund to Friends. One caveat: You cannot direct distributions. You have the right only to make recommendations regarding how much, how often and to which charities. Most donor advised funds will follow your advice if it is consistent with the fund’s objectives and the selected charities are qualified charities.

IRA Charitable Rollover

If you are 70½ years old or older, you can take advantage of a simple way to benefit Friends and receive tax benefits in return. You can make a gift from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as ours without having to pay income taxes on the money. This law no longer has an expiration date so you are free to make annual gifts to our organization this year and well into the future.

Matching Gifts

In addition, some companies are involved in matching gift programs. Ask your workplace if they participate in these programs and help facilitate the donation of additional funds to protect and improve our amazing river.

Memorials and Tribute Gifts

If you have a loved one who has been impacted by Friends or the river, establishing a memorial or tribute gift is a meaningful way to honor your loved one or celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday while supporting the work of our mission. Your memorial or tribute gift will be a lasting tribute to your loved one and make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Workplace Giving

An easy and effective way to support Friends is by giving at your workplace. EarthShare Illinois represents Friends and dozens of other charities in workplace giving payroll contribution campaigns in Illinois. Here’s how it works: Through EarthShare Illinois, you can contribute a small amount from each paycheck to help support Friends important work to make the river healthier and cleaner.

To learn more about how your employer can host a campaign or how EarthShare Illinois can be added to an existing campaign, please contact EarthShare Illinois by visiting  EarthShare Illinois also offers resources to help with CSR and greening business.

All contributions to Friends are fully tax deductible provided no goods or services were provided. Friends of the Chicago River is a 501 (c) (3) organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service. Our Federal Tax ID is 36-3559764.